Coastguards in fishing boat rescue warn clifftop photographers away from the edge

West Bay Coastguard officers were alerted on Friday afternoon by Solent Coastguard NMOC (National Maritime Operations Centre) to a 16ft fishing vessel with one person on board that was being towed into West Bay Harbour by the RNLI Lyme Regis Lifeboat after suffering a mechanical failure.

Five officers from West Bay including the team station officer and deputy station officer made their way to the station, picked up their equipment and rescue vehicle and then headed for the harbour.

As officers were waiting for the vessel to arrive, two people were seen sitting on the edge of East Cliff, legs over the side, taking photographs. As both s had put themselves in a place of extreme danger, officers relocated the rescue vehicle to end of East Pier and used its siren and onboard tannoy system to transmit a safety warning after which they both moved away from the edge.

Turning their attention back to the broken down vessel which had now arrived at the harbour, officers assisted with getting the boat to its berth and making sure the occupant was okay.

As the team were about to stand down, the two people on the cliff had again returned to a place of danger to continue taking photographs.

Officers quickly relocated to East Beach car park and two team members made their way to the top of the cliff to talk with the pair, who turned out to be photography students visiting from abroad. Stern safety advice was dispensed after which they descended the cliff and left the area.

The team then stood down to return to station.

The coastguards says the Jurassic Coast is a wonderful place to come and visit and offers some splendid photographic opportunities.

“However, no photograph is worth risking your life and we strongly urge members of the public to read the local warning signs and use good judgement and common sense when visiting the area.”

Stay safe on the coast this school holiday, but if you find yourself in difficulty, or if you are concerned for others, do not hesitate to dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.